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The Joys of Instagram for Readers, Writers, & Cat-lovers

So what’s the point of Instagram for readers, writers, or anyone else who’s all…

instagram for readers, writers, cat-lovers, catstagram, bookstagram, cats

So what’s the point of Instagram for readers, writers, or anyone else who’s all about the words?

I mean, here’s the thing with IG.

It’s just photos.

I know, shocker, right? I bet you hadn’t realised that! I mean, it’s not like you regularly run across people holding their increasingly mushy ice creams up to the sky or river or beach, while trying snap a photo that doesn’t include the seagull coming in for the attack. It’s not as if we spot people standing on a table to get the perfect shot of their coffee, or spending twenty minutes taking selfies to get just that right angle. And it’s not like there’s such a thing as Instagram-ready make-up…

Okay, so yes, there are all these things. Even the make-up one. I read an article on it for some reason. Don’t ask me why. I learned nothing from it other than it’s another reason to be happy that I’m rarely the subject of my photos if you have to go to that much trouble.

instagram for readers, writers, cat-lovers, catstagram, bookstagram, cats

Look, I take photos of other things, too!

And I don’t say any of this to have a go. Want to turn every ice cream stop into a photo shoot? Go for it. Ice cream’s pretty. It’s also tasty, but if you don’t mind it melted, what do I care? Same with the food and drink shots. Why not, right? And if you want to fill your feed with selfies? If it makes you happy, do it. Just remember that those likes aren’t about your worth as a person. They’re just about the photo. Don’t take them to heart. That’s when things start going a bit wonky. (I’m a writer. I know all about taking external validation – or the lack thereof – far too much to heart).

But all that aside – if you’re a reader or a writer, why on earth would you be on Instagram? What’s the point, in a sea of selfies and food photography and weirdly soulless aspirational memes?

Two words.


Cats. (Okay, pet of your choice).

instagram for readers, writers, cat-lovers, catstagram, bookstagram, cats

Bookstagram is a thing, and it’s glorious. It’s full of ridiculously creative and talented people, posting wildly beautiful pictures of their books, as well as people that maybe aren’t as good on the photography side but more than make up for it with sheer passion and enthusiasm. There are people sharing secondhand treasures and brand spanking new advanced reader copies. There are accounts dedicated to horror or romance or classics or any genre you can imagine. There are bookshelves that give you life goals (sorry, #lifegoals), and indie authors being so entertaining that you have to pick up their books just because. There are readers and writers and book reviewers and bloggers from all over the world, and they all have one thing in common – books. Books, and the love thereof. It’s like the most interesting and varied book fair in the world, only better, because you can attend at home in your PJ’s, and not be wandering around some over-crowded and draughty hall, trying to see over people’s shoulders and queuing for the loo, all the while wondering why everything smells vaguely of old incense and burnt candy floss.

instagram for readers, writers, cat-lovers, catstagram, bookstagram, cats

So other than the not-insignificant impact it can have on your bank account (I want all the books), there’s no downside to being a reader (or writer) on Instagram. People are chatty, too. I mean, we all like talking about books, right? I’ll admit that I felt weird about it at first. For a start, I think I’m about twenty years older than about half the people I follow, and ten years older than the rest. It makes me feel like that weird aunt who’s always trying to be down with the kids (see, I even have the dodgy expressions), or like a nosy older neighbour. But, in the end, books are ageless. We don’t have to be the same age to like the same stories. And while some of the pop culture stuff might go over my head (what even is a funko pop, anyway? Isn’t that some kind of music?), books are always common ground.

And let’s not forget reason two. Cats. Instagram loves cats. Pets in general, really, but for obvious reasons my interest tends to run to the feline variety. Many areas of Instagram, in fact, embrace both the #bookstagram and #instacat tags, and this makes me happy. Books and cats, in my phone, any time I choose to look. I’m sorry, how are you not convinced by this? There are majestic Maine Coons, and goofy little Munchkins, and cats with missing legs or funny eyes or weight problems that put Layla’s middle-aged spread into perspective. And they’re all beautiful. And then there are Corgis, and Huskies, and long-suffering writers’ dogs waiting for the walk that’ll come after that one next chapter. And that’s not even mentioning hedgehogs, and pigs, and bearded dragons.

instagram for readers, writers, cat-lovers, catstagram, bookstagram, cats

I started on Instagram ages ago, and I can’t even remember why. I think it was to promote my personal training business, and there’s certainly a lot of that sort of thing to be found. I mean, if you like to look at nothing but post-workout selfies. #nopainnogain #whatsyourexcuse, etc. My intense dislike for this aspect of gym culture may have something to do with why I never enjoyed working in them. And it took me a long time to find my place on IG. I spent a lot of time posting cat photos, because obviously the little furry muse is beautiful, and when it came to my writing I didn’t really know where to start with it. I still don’t. I know I get a little traffic to the blog from IG, but it’s hardly worth it.

You know what is worth it, though?



Conversations about books and cats.

And I think that’s the thing. Lovely readers and writers, if you want to have a place for these conversations, go to it. IG really isn’t all about selfies. I can’t remember the last one that popped up on my feed. I do know I drooled over at least three bookshelves and aww’ed at a sleeping cat this morning, though.

And you can come say hi to me over there, too. I need more books and cats to look at.

instagram for readers, writers, cat-lovers, catstagram, bookstagram, cats

Are you in Instagram? What social media do you enjoy, and why? Let me know below, and feel free to tag me on your social media of choice – I love having more people in my phone to talk to!

books, cats, instagram, readers writers, social media

  1. Jon says:

    Ooo, John Wyndham! My favourite SF writer 🙂

    1. kimwatt says:

      I’m very proud of my lovely tatty Wyndham penguins!

  2. No cats on my IG feed but there are dogs. One particular dog in fact. I thought I wouldn’t like IG, but I actually love it. It can be hard to constantly think of a picture to post (I’m too old to be constantly taking pictures of everything I do) but I’m getting better.

    1. kimwatt says:

      I have cats, dogs, and hedgehogs at the moment, plus a breaded dragon that pops up now and then. And I was very suspicious of IG at first, but I actually find it great fun now – not that my photos are amazing, but they’re quite entertaining to think of. I’ve been doing bookstagram challenges for the past couple of months, which have given me lots of ideas I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise!

  3. I have come to really love my IG as my favorite social media. I think one of the things I like about it is that people can’t just share everyone’s posts without thinking. Your post is your own, and if someone really, really wants to share it, they have to go through a few steps with a different app. Sometimes my FB feed has so much of the same thing because people just hit the “share” button all willy-nilly. I’d rather see someone’s own personal post.

    I have found so many interesting people and “things” through IG—the creative ways people produce art is fascinating to me. And cats! And puppies! And books! Ahhhh

    1. kimwatt says:

      There always seems to be more interesting things to read and look at on IG – FB, as you say, can get very repetitive (particularly as it seems to like showing me posts I’ve already seen a lot?), and I’m very out of practise on twitter. It was taking up so much of my time that I needed to step back from it, and now I can never seem to find anything on there anymore. But IG has kitties! And cake! And books! Happiness!

  4. Scarlett says:

    I am fairly new to IG and still finding my place. If you look at mine, you won’t find organized colors by rows or any order…it’s pretty random. I started it only for books. Although I never have the newest books, I find books to be timeless. Another thing: IG is ageless!!! One can find joy in bookstagrams at any age.
    Cats are really the secret force behind the whole thing 😉 It makes all sense now…?

    1. kimwatt says:

      I have absolutely no organisation in mine either – I’m considering that my theme may actually be “whatever I feel like and I may change my mind tomorrow”. And I never have new books either – I’m normally about five years behind everyone else…

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